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The Summoning
Drama, Thriller, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Alberto G. Rodriguez
Eric Roberts as Chief Lubbock
Stephanie Minchew as Melissa Ward
Carlos Higuera as Manuel
Susie Loucks as Molly
John Lansch as Joe Ferguson
Todd Jenkins as Killer
Aaron Perilo as Junior Ferguson
Jaime Zevallos as Detective Jonathan Silva
Manny Hernandez as Patrick (as Manny Hernandez)
Philip Adkins as Clayton Ward
Razaaq Adoti as Mills
Storyline: When a law student uncovers chilling secrets and places her life at risk, a bitter, rough-around-the-edges detective gets assigned to her case.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 720x304 px 1358 Mb mpeg4 2162 Kbps avi Download
DVD-rip 720x304 px 701 Mb h264 1117 Kbps mkv Download
Good god. Listen I'm all for the idea of DIY, labor-of-love thrillers, so I stand behind the idea of this film existing. But rarely does a labor of love feel so poorly tended to by its team. From subpar acting to cliché dialogue inside a messy script full of plot devices that go nowhere, The Summoning fails to realize that tension isn't assumed, it's crafted.
Top Notch Indie Thriller
This is a very well-crafted thriller that is an effective mix of cop drama and horror. The film also has an old-school, throwback appeal to the thrillers of the 70s and 80s that is very appealing. The lead performances by Leila Almas, Jaime Zevallos, and Eric Roberts are top-notch. Eric Roberts in particular has become somewhat of a staple for low-budget indie thrillers, and is one of those actors who is always interesting to watch. Zevallos, another rising star in the indie film scene, has an undeniably magnetic screen presence. Finally, Almas, a darkly mysterious beauty, gives an effective lead performance that is never prone to overacting or histrionics. As the film progresses, you begin to genuinely sympathize with her plight, which is a key to the film's success. Finally, the film's soundtrack effectively sets the mood of slowly-building dread. Overall, an entertaining indie thriller with a refreshingly slow-burned pace that is undeniably suspenseful.
Well done (keep in mind it's not a horror)
Okay, some might complain but first of all... it's an independent movie. Now let's talk about genre. It's listed as a Horror on some platforms, but when I came to the IMDb page, I noticed that it's listed as Drama/Thriller -- which makes a lot more sense. It's definitely a drama with a mystery feel and a handful of scary moments. The acting is good and the overall story is pretty intriguing...apparently based on real history of that area. With the recent hurricane that exposed money-hungry land developer schemes, this movie feels right on point. And it's not often to find Houston in films these days...cool backdrop and that sugar factory they filmed in was creepy.
*SPOILERS* I was really excited to see this movie because I live in Sugar Land. I'm just going to get on with is and say that this movie is terrible. It makes absolutely no sense at all. It raises more questions than answers. There is little to no emotion.

Also, does no one know how to turn on lights? There are scenes where people are studying in the dark. The detective cooks dinner in the dark. The lead invites someone into her house for the first time and it is literally pitch dark and no one ever turns on a light.

Also, they add in a story line about the detective that shows him killing a pedophile who killed his daughter and you think that it will somehow become relevant to the story. Nope. They just threw that in there for fun because it never ties into anything.

The movie has a tagline along the lines of "Do you know who is buried under your house?" Is this tagline at all relevant to the movie? Nope. There is one spirit present throughout the movie and it is the spirit of a dead white woman who has only been dead a few years and she didn't even die in the house where the spirit activity was happening. I also found this funny because of the numerous mentions of dead slaves - and then it turns out that this college student is trying to solve the case of a dead white woman. And that's basically what the story is about.

Also, the lead's friend/case partner...what happened to him? One minute he has a pocket watch and a photo that apparently is evidence enough to have cops break into his house with a sawed off shotgun and the next we never hear about him again.

Also, the ending? It ends with the detective (who somehow figures out that the bad guy is at the lead character's house even thought he has no idea that the two have ever met) running up the stairs - in the dark of course - and then the credits roll.

Literally NOTHING in this movie makes sense or ties together at all. And we never even see any spirits.

Oh, and my mom and I cracked up at this: The lead gets kidnapped by the spirit and is "trapped" in the sugar factory for maybe 12 hours at the most. When she gets "rescued" she looks like she's been there for a week. Also, later in the film we laughed about how she was unable to find her way out of the sugar factory when she was kidnapped, but is able to break in with absolutely no problems later in the film.

Oh God this just made no sense at all.
When writing makes ZERO sense
This movie is a clear example of when a writer really, really, really wants a scene to happen, but doesn't give a reason for it. Therefore, the audience is left wondering "Why doesn't she just do this?" or "Why don't they just do that?" The lead character, Rachel (Leila Almas), comes off as unemotional. My guess is the actress believes 'less is best' for acting, and therefore dulls down every expression possible and believes that's what acting is about. She's wrong. The acting suffers because of it.

Anyway, the writing is filled with side devices that don't add to the overall story. It's like the fluff that the writer/director believed would make the film cooler and more 3-dimensional, but forgets that it all must add to the story in some way. The back story about the detective doesn't add anything vital to his character behavior (which could be partially the actors fault. His acting wasn't the best either), or the situation itself.

Also, we all cringe when we're forced to believe she can't get out of that factory with all those windows around.

In the end of the film, Rachel, for whatever reason, invites the son of who she's accusing into her home, it's late at night, tells him to 'make himself at home', does not turn on any light. FACT is...this does not make sense. This is the writer/director's attempt to force this scene to happen. Why would Rachel invite this stranger in her home late at night with all that has happened to her? Especially someone who does not have her in his best interests, which she should know that? She doesn't trust her colleague, but she'll trust this stranger late at night with the lights off? I'm forced to believe that she really did just discover that he's the killer, because she doesn't act like it (but then again, her emotions are so dull, I have to force myself to believe everything she's doing). The guy never gave her reason to be trusting, yet she trusted him.

I find it interesting that the haunting comes from the dead white wife...NOT from the black husband of whom you think would have the most interest in this topic, not the DEAD SLAVES. The victims who have been forgotten and well hidden have nothing to do with the haunting and gathers absolutely zero sympathy. Just the white wife. I stress the race because in such a movie where the opportunity to make something matter can be done, we're instead following the ghost of the white woman that has nothing to do with the dead slaves (oh yeah, the whole slave thing threatens the business owner and his son. That's where that issue comes up. No where else.). I just feel like the attention was given to the wrong victim, almost purposely missing a BIG point.

This is not a good movie. It's just not.
Amazingly Bad - Acting, Effects, Story Line, You Name It
This movie has to be a joke. Someone made a bet that people would pay to watch something this horrible. The characters were as predictable as a Scooby Doo episode. From clueless cute girl to the old warehouse care taker (I'm not kidding, there is a care taker). They didn't spend money on a writer or actors so you would think that they would have some special effects. The 'ghost' interactions were shadows on the wall, pots being pushed on of tables and lights flickering. I had to stop watching after 45 minutes. I really wanted to see how bad it could get be I could feel myself getting dumber and by the end I wouldn't be able to work my computer mouse. After reading the only other truthful review, I know I haven't missed any great plot twists.
Better than these other reviews make it out to be
Sure some parts of the story could have been stronger, but I enjoyed it over all. Learned a bit of history too. Reminded me of The Skeleton Key which starred Kate Hudson. Similar eerie type of film. Interesting that both take place in the South too. Could be that I skew towards classic horror films, but I did sense a bit of 70's style. Good job.
I feel the summoning....of a nap.
This was not the worst thriller I have ever seen, but it was very flawed, and moves very slowly without being particularly intriguing (I don't mind a slow burn if it is good). It begins with a rather interesting premise that is based on a true story - this could have been a really creepy movie. For starters, the lead actress was pretty bad. She showed so little emotion there were times she seemed mildly sedated. Secondly, they did not delve into the history of the theme - this could have been very creepy and had the makings of a great ghost story. Lastly, I found the ending unsatistying - not terrible, but an ending that many will see coming. Actually, I found the acting by Elbert Hill (the old maintenance man) to be superb, and I wish he had a larger role. Also, while Eric Roberts does not disappoint, his role was quite small. Four stars from me - had a great premise, but needed some tweaking, starting with the lead role.
I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised.
Given the premise is a supernatural film based on a true story, I wasn't sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. The filmmaker appears to have a very grounded take on the subject. While the movie could have easily been filled with cheap thrills, instead the director focuses on telling the the little known dark secrets of a small town. The cast in general did a great job, Eric Roberts delivers as usual. Other stands outs include Elbert Hill Jr. as an informed and wise caretaker. Pacing wise the story could ave moved a little faster. Overall it was a worthwhile purchase and I look forward to seeing more from this director.
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